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PM Modi is the architect of new BJP; may contest from South also: Dr Chandra

Stressing that Modi has now set his eyes on winning the Southern Indian region, Dr Jagdeesh Chandra claims that PM Modi has started working on a strategy whose results will be seen in the near future. Dr Chandra also lays bare how union ministers like Nirmala Sitharaman and S Jaishankar and even some Governors may contest Lok Sabha polls this time around, how Modi's visits to Southern Temples have sparked an interest of the locals in the Prime Minister, how the Dravidian and Sanatan cultures are more alike and how Modi is the only ray of hope for RSS and BJP in South India. Excerpts... (Part-II)

  • Why is PM Narendra Modi pursuing this dream of ensuring BJP’s win in Tamil Nadu so fervently? Will he contest the Lok Sabha polls from Tamil Nadu as well as Varanasi?
    Dr Jagdeesh Chandra:
    We all know Modi will never give up. He does not know what defeat is. He says that his guarantee also has a guarantee. Recently in a conference in Delhi, he stressed that if no one else gives guarantees, people should approach him as he will provide guarantees and this is his confidence, which comes from success. His track record is replete with successes one after the other and hence, he is pursuing this issue with utmost vigour. From what I have heard, I can say that thinking has been going on to find a constituency on the border of Kerala and Tamil Nadu so that he could influence the voters of Tamil Nadu and to some extent in Kerala too. As the political landscape shifts, Modi’s strategic acumen positions him as a formidable contender for a seat in South India. Among the potential choices, Madurai emerges as a compelling option, owing to Modi’s frequent visits and the enthusiastic reception he receives from the people of the region. His presence in Madurai not only underscores his commitment to engaging with diverse constituencies but also signals a strategic move to strengthen the BJP’s footprint in the southern states.On the contrary, word floats around that he has held a handful of successful rallies in Rajasthan and that too in the state capital Jaipur, and thus, people suspect that he may contest from Jaipur as well. It’s also worth noting that Modi is known for his willingness to embrace challenges, and it wouldn’t be surprising if he decides to venture into South India for his candidacy. This move would certainly add an intriguing element to the electoral landscape, making it an event to watch closely.
  • Do you think some other BJP veteran like Nirmala Sitharaman or S Jaishankar or some Governor can contest the polls from Tamil Nadu?
    Yes, there’s a strong likelihood that two ministers, Nirmala Sitharaman and S Jaishankar, who were recently permitted to continue in the Rajya Sabha, may now be required to contest in the upcoming elections. Prahlad Joshi hinted that one of them could contest from Bengaluru and the other from a constituency in Tamil Nadu, but the final decision rests with Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. Additionally, there is a possibility that several other Union Ministers may also be asked to contest from Southern states, while some Governors might enter the electoral fray as well. Modi and Shah’s strategy revolves around fielding well-known and established leaders in the toughest constituencies, making it challenging for the Opposition to counter them.
  • Are BJP’s hopes for Tamil Nadu restricted only to the 2024 elections?
    Not at all. Modi and Shah are known for their decisive actions and forwardthinking approach. Take the example of the removal of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir, once they make a move, they don’t look back. Their vision extends far beyond shortterm gains; they’re constantly strategising for the next 50 years. In this context, their focus on South India isn’t just about immediate results, but about laying the groundwork for the future. Even if the BJP manages to secure only around 20 seats, it could significantly bolster the party’s prospects in the region for decades to come.
  • Will the Temples of South India also become a ‘Centre of attraction’ for tourists and people from Northern India, after Modi’s recent multiple visits? Will it lead to a boom in Temple tourism?
    Definitely. A boom is already here. Over a month ago, PM Modi had visited there and now look at the situation, people are unable to get any bookings. His humble demeanour during worship and prayers at various temples in South India has ‘reshaped’ his image, positioning him almost as a ‘Brand Ambassador’ for the region’s temples and the people are happy. Contrastingly, while the local CM has yet to make similar visits, Modi’s journey from Delhi underscores his commitment. These factors collectively indicate that Narendra Modi is poised to be a significant ‘game-changer’ in Southern India.
  • Is there any similarity between Dravida and Sanatan culture? Also, has Narendra Modi adopted this in his life?
    The first shared aspect between the two is the preservation of ‘regional identity.’ Secondly, they both emphasise ‘women empowerment.’ Thirdly, they prioritise social justice, and fourthly, they strive to implement schemes for public welfare. Both the DMK and Narendra Modi have demonstrated these principles over the past decade. It’s surprising yet true that apart from their opposition to Hindutva, there’s little difference in the ideologies of Narendra Modi and the DMK. Both are rooted in ‘regional identity’ and a commitment to ‘good governance.’
  • Before the consecration of the Ram idol at Ayodhya, PM Modi held ‘Yum Upwas’ (fasting). What is your take on that?
    In a calculated move to connect with the masses, Prime Minister Modi embarked on a spiritual journey before his historic visit to Ayodhya. Prioritising inclusivity, he commenced his pilgrimage with prayers at Southern temples, ensuring that the cultural significance of South Indian temples wasn’t overlooked. The subsequent media coverage of his ‘fast’ garnered widespread attention, creating a buzz across the nation. Strategically planned hymns, including those released in Tamil, further reinforced Modi’s cultural resonance with Tamil Nadu, sparking discussions across the state. By immersing himself in temple visits and observing a ‘fast,’ Modi not only delved deeper into spiritual introspection’ but also underscored his profound connection to Indian culture and ethos, symbolically aligning himself with Tamil culture.
  • Why is Modi the only ray of hope for RSS and BJP in South India?
    Modi’s indispensability within the BJP is unquestionable. He stands as the party’s paramount figure, with no viable alternative. And if there is some leader, who could be an option when it comes to administration, then such a leader does not have the same popularity as Modi. If someone has a good grasp over governance, then on hindsight such a leader would not be a ‘crowd puller’ or a ‘national’ or a ‘global’ leader, who fulfilled all the dreams of RSS and the BJP. Ram Temple, Abrogation of Article 370, UCC and many other agendas of RSS and BJP have been fulfilled by Modi and perhaps there are many more such agendas which have not been fulfilled till now. With achievements like these under his belt, Modi has emerged as the singular beacon of hope for the RSS and BJP. As he continues to lead, there’s a strong likelihood that he will be entrusted with fulfilling additional agendas in the future, solidifying his position as the indispensable face of the party.
  • Is there any bond or link between Kashi and Tamil? What is your take on Modi’s Kashi-Tamil Sangamam and Thrissur Mahila Sangamam?
    It is a great effort and has been undertaken by the PM. They have run a course wherein, priests from Kashi travel to Thrissur and vice -versa. 27 priests from South have visited the Ram Temple in Ayodhya for worship and prayers. In South Indian weddings, Ram and Kashi have a great role and one of the pledges that the newly married couple has to make is that they will visit Kashi at least once in their lifetime. Now you can imagine the millennia-old connection or bond between Kashi and Ayodhya with Tamil Nadu and the region. Amidst the backdrop of political discourse often overshadowed by antiHindu sentiments, Narendra Modi is actively endeavouring to reignite the age-old bond that has long been obscured. This commendable initiative is poised to yield significant dividends in the future. Anticipated are substantial movements of people between Kashi and Tamil Nadu, serving as a vital bridge to fortify cultural unity and affinity between the regions.
  • PM Narendra Modi’s public appearances in Tamil Nadu and Kerala have been witnessing huge crowds. Is it a sign of things to come in the near future?
    The sheer magnitude of the crowd at the venue left me astounded. With lakhs of people in attendance, even Modi himself couldn’t contain his excitement and happiness. The overwhelming response served as a significant pre-election ‘trial,’ showcasing the immense support garnered. Comparisons to the massive turnouts at Modi’s rallies in regions like UP and Bihar are apt. This sizable gathering has the potential to be a true ‘game-changer.’ If the BJP manages to secure 10-15 seats or more in Tamil Nadu, credit must be attributed to this enthusiastic crowd. Should this fervent support translate into votes, Narendra Modi’s influence in Tamil Nadu could indeed prove to be transformative & ‘game-changer.’

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